top of page

Check Out The Expert Exchange

As physical, occupational and speech therapists working with children with complex needs (and too often) exhausted families and disconnected teams that don't always see eye-to-eye, we recognised the need for clinical discussions that go beyond what we can gather from textbook and published guidelines.

Spinal Neuromodulation in Cerebral Palsy Part 1 & 2 for Physical and Occupational Therapists

Dr Susan Hastings PT, DPT, PCS has been on the cutting edge of clinical applications for improving outcomes in Cerebral Palsy. She is a Board-Certified Pediatric Certified Specialist in Physical Therapy who graduated from Rocky Mountain University. Susan has been using functional electrical stimulation (FES) in children with upper motor neuron lesions for over 20 years, has presented her findings at various conferences and given courses in multiple cities. And as so often happens in stories of scientific breakthroughs, she stumbled onto spinal neuromodulation by mistake during a treatment session with a young boy she was treating who had cerebral palsy. He literally went from a spastic diplegic gait, to a normal pattern of walking at the switch of a button. Blown away by what she saw, she made it her mission to find someone that could explain this phenomenon, and found Dr Reggie Edgerton.

Dr Reggie Edgerton has been on the cutting edge of breakthroughs in spinal cord rehabilitation and is notably famous for having worked with the late Christopher Reeves (The original superman). Reggie is a researcher with a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from Michigan State University and runs the Edgerton Neuromuscular Research Laboratory at the University of California, Los Angele exploring neuomodulation to activate spinal networks after injury. He has published numerous research articles in peer-reviewed journals and was honored by the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab for

"his monumental impact in the fields of neuromuscular physiology and rehabilitation.”

This interview gives us a little window into the conversations that Reggie and Susan frequently have in exploring this fascinating topic. We dig into their theories, hypotheses, practical applications and current understandings of how the spinal cord is able to change the brain and deliver truly unbelievable outcomes in children with cerebral palsy.


Scroll down to the podcast player to listen or find us on Spotify, iTunes or Stitcher.

For handy links to things we've discussed in this interview,  scroll down to the Resources Section at the bottom of the page.

Listen, enjoy, share...

Part 1

Podcast Highlights

Time Stamps in green

  • 04:35 minutes- Getting started in SCI

  • 11:40 minutes- Recovery in SCI

  • 19:25 minutes- Cerebral palsy and the spinal cord

  • 26.33 minutes- How neuromodulation works

  • 27.39 minutes- Inducing vs Enabling

  • 31:57 minutes- Specificity and timing of stimulation

  • 33:55 minutes- Sensory Integration

  • 36:07 minutes- What we can learn from astronauts

  • 39:19 minutes- Alignment for movements sake

  • 41:18 minutes-Alignment and neurospinal modulation

  • 47 :33 minutes- Motor learning and the spinal cord

  • 51:18 minutes- Vision and the spinal cord

  • 53:54 minutes- Normal vs abnormal motor responses

  • 58:28 minutes- Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy and spinal neuromodulation

Part 2

1. Unanticipated Possibilities: Exploring Long-Term Rehab Gains of Neuromodulation for Cerebral Palsy (00:00 - 06:51)

2. Spinal Neuromodulation and FES (06:52 - 13:20)

3. The Benefits of Low-Intensity Amplitude with Spinal Neuromodulation for Cerebral Palsy (13:21 - 20:45)

4. Therapy Approach pre-spinal neuromodulation (20:45 - 27:20)

5. The Benefits Of Neuromodulation Combined With TheraTogs For Improved Alignment (27:20 - 33:35)

6. Understanding Neuromodulation and Midline (33:35 - 40:13)

7. Exploring Oxygen Saturation and Spinal Neuromodulation on Motor Learning (40:13 - 46:34)

8. Current understanding of the clinical benefits of spinal neuromodulatoin (46:35 - 54:03)

9. Research and Clinical Trials (54:03 - 01:00:55)

10. What you need to know now (01:00:58 - 01:03:41)

Support Research for Spinal Neuromodulation in Cerebral Palsy

Rancho Research Institute was established in 1956 to improve the lives of people with disabilities as a non profit 501 (c)(3) organization that administers medical research and educational programs (

To support research in spinal neuromodulation for cerebral palsy with tax deductible donations to Rancho Research Institute, add your contact details here.

Your details will only be used to email you information on how you can support the work of non-invasive spinal neuromodulation and activity based neurorehabilitation therapy in children and adults with cerebral pasly under the direction of Dr. Edgerton and Dr. Liu.

Casey's Timeline:

Watch in real-time as Susan discovers and explores Neurospinal Modulation with Casey



Recent Podcasts

bottom of page